Brunabug asked on Monday how we have been using our wheat food storage. Here are some quick tips and recipes from my year's experience. If you have any other ideas, please share!
How much bread do you go through at your house? Now imagine how much wheat you would go through if you made all your own bread. Making bread really isn't very hard!
I use this recipe, which can be done from start to finish in less than an hour and a half. If I have extra time, sometimes I add in a second rise (let it rise first in a greased bowl, and then let it rise again in the pans): it adds only half an hour or less and it improves the texture.
Making bread involves more time than work. Once you've mixed things together and kneaded the dough, there's really very little required of you other than setting timers and moving the dough around. And if you have a mixer to knead your dough for you like I do, it really requires no effort at all.
I double the recipe (luckily it just fits in my mixer and there's plenty of room in my oven). Whatever we won't use within a few days, I freeze. To thaw, pull the bag out of the freezer and leave it on the counter unopened for several hours until it comes to room temperature. To make it even more convenient, slice before you freeze.
Make other things
I do a lot of baking besides bread; I really enjoy baking. Cakes, cookies, muffins . . . you can sneak in some whole wheat flour just about anywhere.
If your family is picky about whole wheat flour, first try sneaking it into recipes with strong flavors, such as chocolate, peanut butter, or ginger:
- Dark chocolate muffins
- Chocolate crinkles
- Ginger cookies
- Black bottom banana bars
- Gingerbread upside-down cake
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- Peanut butter bars
- Date-walnut cake
- Whole wheat muffins
Sneak it in slowly
I'm blessed with a husband and a son who don't mind whole wheat products. But for those whose families may be hesitant, start slowly. If you can't mask the whole wheat with a strong flavor, start by substituting only a small amount in your recipes, maybe only a quarter or even less. Once your family's used to that, try a bit more. Even if you never get up past half, half is still better than none!
Try white wheat
If you don't already have 500 pounds of red wheat in your basement, consider buying white wheat. It's easier to sneak into things because of its lighter color and flavor. On the other hand, if you really love that whole-wheat flavor, keep some red wheat around, too.
Use it in your meals
Plan to use your wheat flour in your meals. Breakfast is a great place to start, with French toast, waffles, or pancakes. You can also get creative for dinner, using your favorite bread dough recipes to make pigs in blankets or pizza rolls.
Don't go overboard
Sometimes I tend to get a bit carried away using my whole wheat flour, but some recipes are definitely better made with white flour, such as angel food cake and lemon-poppyseed scones. Use your good judgment.